Tag Archives: neighbors

OUCH! Our Habitat Homeowner Robbed of Belongings

Homeowner, Joi.  What a nice Smile.I found out today that Joi (photo), our future homeowner of the Habitat for Humanity house we are building for her in Mableton, Georgia, had her furniture and other belongings stored in a storage locker while waiting for her new home to be built.  

 She worked on the house with us Saturday, only to find out later that her storage locker, along with 17 others, was broken into over the weekend.   She is devastated at this bad news.   What should have been a happy occasion is now ripped to shreds by scum-of-the-earth thieves.

There is some help coming in the form of Pat of our church that owns a home staging company.  She had already planned to rally our church members and her business associates to  donate furniture to Joi and to stage her new home.   Now it looks like we need to  come up with even more.   Stay tuned.  If you would like to help with monetary donations, contact the PCCH site (also there is a link on the side bar) or Pat at pshankle@georgiahomestaging.com . 

We don’t have a procedure yet, but the PCCH is a 501 corporation through the church and it should be counted as a donation there.   Checks to them need to be made to “First Presbyterian Church, Marietta” and marked “Habitat donation for Joi” mail to: First Presbyterian Church, 189 Church Street, Marietta, GA  30060-1629, attention “Habitat Mission, Bob White”.    

Anything that comes through me or Pat would need to be made out to “Macland Presbyterian Church”, and marked “Habitat donation for Joi”, mail to: Macland Presbyterian Church, 3615 Macland Road • Powder Springs, Ga • 30127-1336 , attention: “Habitat Missions Team”,   If you live in the area and want to make furniture or other physical donations, contact Pat or the PCCH, or let me know through a comment and I’ll contact you by email.

Such thieves are trully miseable excuses for human beings.   

Click For all Habitat Articles  and more pictures of Joi and the progress being made.  

Homeless Youth – Some Random Facts That May Scare You

Some random facts that may scare you:

Estimates are that one in seven youths will leave home by the age of 18 (National Runaway Switchboard, 2001).

 “Every year, assault, illness, and suicide claim the lives of approximately 5,000 runaway and homeless youth” (The National Runaway Switchboard, 2001, p. 2). 

 Young people on the streets find it very difficult to meet their basic needs, so they may also resort to survival sex to provide for themselves. 

 According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, more than half of all runaways are girls (Hammer, et al., 2002). Makes you want to cry

The National Network for Youth (2003) reports that most homeless youth living on the streets are boys. Boys are more likely to be kicked out and girls more likely to run away, possibly because boys are more likely to engage in deviant behaviors that cause parents to kick them out and girls are more likely to experience sexual abuse that prompts them to run away.

The same abuse continues on the streets as girls are more likely to be raped and boys are more likely to be physically assaulted (Cauce, et al., 2000; MacLean, Embry,& Cauce, 1999).

Ensign and Bell (2004) found the average length of homelessness differed significantly according to whether the youth lived in a shelter or on the streets. For those living in shelters, the average length of homelessness was four months (range one to nine months), but the average length for those on the streets was three years (range one month to eight years).

One in eight youth under 18 will leave home and become a street person in need of services (Raleigh-DuRoff, 2004), and 40 percent do not return home

Do you have children or grandchildren or neighbors with children at risk?   Do something about it before it is too late.  Get help now.

I hope the picture above makes you want to cry.  

Oldtimer’s comment:  Click for All the Homeless Youth articles

Sex Offender Locator Mapping Tool from John Walsh

Sex Ofender Mapping Tool 

John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted and Steve Roddel of Family Watchdog have joined with the National Sex Offender Registry to provide a unique and powerful mapping tool to locate registered sex offenders in your neighborhood, anywhere in the U.S.A.  FREE!

All you need to do is click on the link below, enter your address and almost instantly you will get a map of your neighborhood with color coded symbols for various types of sex offenders and their locations. Schools are also shown.  Click on a school to get its name and location and the distance to the nearest registered sex offender.  Click on a sex offender symbol and get a picture, an address, and how far from you he/she lives.  You can click again and find out what kind of offences are applicable.   

Some things to make it easier.  Use Internet Explorer for best results.  I found my Netscape was not up to the mapping capability.   With Internet Explorer, you can zoom in, navigate to nearby neighborhoods, and even bring up a satelite image with the streets and offender codes overlaid on it with your house marked right where you left it.  

You need to know, just so you don’t get too confident over the safety of your neighborhood, that you need to look along the top edge of your map.   It will show you how many “non-mappable” offenders are in the area.   If you click on the “list” at the top, you can see a complete list of the non-mappable offenders.  Thes include those in jail, but it also includes some that may be on your street, but the street number could not be found in the map index and so the address is given, but it won’t be mapped because it has no exact place to put it down.   You can at least find their picture and know from the address they are close by.   Anyway, this is powerful stuff.  Excellent application of several technologies.   Good work guys and gals.  

Click here: Map of Sex Offenders in Your Neighborhood

Since you found it here, send your friends and family to this site or else directly to the registry so that they can check their own neighborhoods.   

I found a convicted child molestor in a nearby neighborhood that lives in some woods only 290 feet from an elementary school.  Next door actually, with the woods leading right up to the school grounds.   Another school had 5 child molestors within 1/2 mile, the closest within 1000 feet.   Not a good idea.

In a few weeks, when I begin a series on the adult homeless population, I’ll give you a link to a dynamic map of the homeless as they move around.   Quite amazing.   The homeless are counted every week and mapped into a system that shows their location (no names) and then all are plotted on a map (as dots).   Then the maps are shown in sequence like an old time movie, but smoothed  so that you can see just how mobile the homeless in a big city can be.    Stay tuned. 

Click for all homeless youth articles

Click for all predator articles

Oldtimer

Slide Shows: Habitat Pictures

PCCH Habitat LogoPresbyterian Coalition Habitat for Humanity Slide Show of all the pictures made by Oldtimer at the Dinner on the Slab, May 4, 2007.

Slideshow:  Dinner on the Slab

Presbyterian Coalition Habitat for Humanity Slide Show of all the pictures made by Oldtimer on the First Day of Build, May 5, 2007

Slideshow: First Day of Build 

Enjoy.

Good Start – Pictures

Our Habitat LogoHere are a few of Saturday’s Pictures from the first day’s build.   These are 8 from a total of 52 taken that day.   The date is May 5th, 2007.  The location, Mableton, Cobb County, Georgia.   The sponsors and builders are Presbyterian Coalition Cobb Habitat for Humanity, a group of 10 Presbyterian Churches.   Our 21st house in Cobb. 

To get a full screen view or to download any of the pictures that follow, go to the post above, “Slide Show – Pictures” and click on the picture and then select the “all sizes” icon (magnifying glass – any size you want up to full page. 

 A Good Start

Good Start!  I’d call this a Good Start.  This first picture was taken at 8:30 AM.   There are two plates still tacked together, and work in progress on a number of others.  Look around and you will see other Habitat houses in various stages of construction.   Cobb Habitat bought the land for a subdivision of 50 homes here in Cobb County GA.    Look carefully and you may see some of the markings on the floor and on the plates.  Volunteers split the plates apart and start nailing in studs, windows, doors and T’s where marked.   Everybody has fun.

 First Wall UP

 First Wall UP!  The lady in pink is our very excited homeowner – Joi.  The first wall up is a celebration and a great photo opportunity for everyone with a camera.   The time was 9:30AM

Moving On! 

Moving ON!   The walls have been built.  The interior walls are in the foregroud and the exterior ones either up or behind the slab.   The time is 10:05 AM

 Joi  My Walls!

 MY Walls!   Joi, our happy and always smiling homeowner.

 Start OSB

First Sheet of OSB after walls are squared.   Notice all the ladies admiring the work.  They put a lot of them up after being shown how.   Time is 1:06PM just after lunch.

Ladders UP!

Ladders UP!   Joi  (pink shirt) is right up there with them, putting on blocking. Portions have been capped.  The beam pocket (front right corner) has been carved out but not re-framed.

 Jeff and Pretty Boy

 Jeff and Pretty Boy.  “Pretty Boy” Miller AKA “Nine Fingers” (in the suspenders)  talking to Jeff, our SPM.  Bob is coming up with a ball of string to help straighten a wall.   Behind them is the food tent, and a tool storage locker, behind Bob.  Further back another group is finishing up shingles on a roof. 

 Finishing UP 

 Finishing Up.  The last piece of OSB is being prepared for over the front door.  That and cleanup will finish the first day of work.  Good Job!  Good Job Everyone!   This pictures was taken at 4:33 PM.

A Very Good Start

Our Habitat LogoToday was a great day to build a house.   Our Presbyterian Coalition Habitat for Humanity build got off to a very good start – walls up, squared and covered.   The weather was just perfect.  Cool, overcast and not as humid as it should have been considering it rained during the night.   We had perhaps 35 to 40 people show up – smaller than normal, but considering the rain during the night drove a few away, it was more than enough to get the day’s job done.   We build rain or shine and many dedicated volunteers will slug through downpours and deep mud all day for the joy of helping.  Others will look out the window, see the ground wet and say “They’ve got to be kidding.”  

The day always starts with a little talk by the site project manager  (SPM).  The talk has a little of everything – a little orientation for first-timers, a little pep talk to wake us up, a good safety presentation for everyone, and a brief introduction of the various crew chiefs and an outline of what he expected to be accomplished.   A coalition member provides a prayer and then we start work.    Everyone on site today was a volunteer.  Everyone.

First order of business is to build the walls.   The wall plates have already been put together the previous weekend.   At that time, the slab was laid out with colored marking for where the walls go.   The technique is for the SPM and a few volunteers to use the house plans to mark all the walls on the floor, then cut 2×4 boards to match the plan and lay them out on the floor.    Matching top plates are placed on top and the top and bottom plates are then tacked together with nails.   Then the location of all the studs, doors and windows are marked on the bottom plates (pressure treated wood) and also on the top plates (white wood).  The plates and the floor are numbered so volunteers that come for build-day can simply begin pounding nails into studs placed on the marks.   That pounding part we did today.

The previous weekend the SPM and the volunteers also had a little extra help and time on their hands so they had also built all the door and window headers and attached the side studs.   Often that is done by the volunteers on the first build day.  Since we had fewer than normal due to the overnight sprinkle, having the window and door frames ready was a very big help.  

First Wall Photo OP.  So the walls were built on the floor, then carried off the slab and piled up haphazardly into two stacks,  exterior and interior.   Once all the exterior walls were finished, the first wall section was carried back in and the “first-wall-up celebration and photo opportunity” was announced.   The homeowner (in this case Joi) is always allowed to put in the first nail in the first wall and as many as have cameras get a good shot.   I have pictures and will share them in the next post.  Walls on a slab such as this one have a foam-like material attached to the bottom plate (pressure treated wood).  Then they are nailed down with wedge-shaped nails (called cut-nails) designed to lock into concrete.

At some point the exterior walls are nearly complete and the remaining interior walls are carried onto the slab so they don’t get fenced outside.   Today we brought too many inside and ending up carrying three or four back out and around the building because they belonged in the store room and/or the laundry room which are in a wing already outside the walls that were already up.   Volunteers are never happy unless they are either toting something or pounding nails, so this is a not a problem.

Devotional and Lunch   As noon approached, the cry was – “No food until all the walls are up!”   However it worked out that we were standing around for the devotional at 12 noon and the walls were all up.  The church that provided food today was First Presbyterian.  They usually provide the first build-day lunch because they are the biggest of our churches and the build day usually has the most people show up.   There is always a short devotional talk followed by a prayer asking blessing of the food.   Some of the more experienced volunteers bring soft fold-up chairs.  Everyone else finds a lumber pile, window sill or a cool place to sit.    Eat, chat, rest, then back to work.

Squaring the Corners.  When all the walls were up, the SPM and a few experienced volunteers squared the corners with levels and cross braces to get the corners exactly vertical in all directions.  Part of the process of squaring the corners involves putting OSB (4×8 sheets of sheathing) in the corners to keep them straight.    Then crews are sent around the entire house to finish covering the outside walls.   Two volunteers were assigned to reopen the doors and windows with a saws-all.  Essentially they go inside and cut the sheathing out of the windows and doors after others cover them up.   

Small Work Crew Activity.   Also there were a number of small crews doing specialized work – such as putting blocking on the side walls for nailing the bottoms of the roof trusses and for providing a nailing shelf for sheet rock on the ceiling around the perimeter.   There was also a crew putting on Z flashing around the bottom of the walls to set the sheathing in.   Each bottom of each piece of sheathing is set into a channel of metal that has a bed of silicone caulk to seal it from any weather leaks.  Another crew or two is moving around the house on ladders putting on a cap plate on all the walls to tie them together and to provide a strong resting place for the roof trusses to come later.  Others were simply picking things up or sweeping out anything accumulating on the floor or running the “chop saw”.  

Saw Man.  The chop saw work is always a dedicated “saw man”, in this case, “Pretty Boy” Miller, AKA “Nine Fingers” our most beloved SPM from previous builds who is helping us today by special request.  The official SPM for this site is “Be Safe – Have Fun” Jeff Vanderlip who brought along his wife and son.

Straighten the Walls  Two small crews were detailed to “straighten the walls”.   That involves placing blocks on each outside top corner of the house, tying string from block to block, then using a  ladder and a block of wood to gauge the wall spacing to the string at various points and then adjusting them with braces to get them absolutely straight.

Porch Beam Pockets.   Someone forgot to provide porch beam pockets during layout so those had to be cut out with a saws-all and re-framed.   Just a few minutes extra work.   The pockets are rectangular openings that allow the front porch beams to extend well into the frame of the house so that they are well anchored and will never be able to pull away.  The porch beams for the two sides were slid in, leveled and braced.  

End of Day  The day ended about 5 PM with all the walls up and covered and all tools put away and the site cleaned of any left over debris.  Next week will be rafter day – actually these are prebuilt engineered trusses that are made off-site and trucked in.   One of the things we did today was to install a temporary cross walk across the main family room to help the truss walkers to get back and forth somewhat safely  “up there”.   Next weekend we will put them in place, install cross bracing, deck the roof and dry it in, ready for shingles.   Maybe even shingle it. 

Always Something New.   Every build has a new feature or new challenge to overcome.  This time we were pleasantly surprised at the retainer wall.   It is beautiful –  attractive engineered blocks of stone to create a retainer wall for the house next door which sits above “ours”.   Out of the 20 homes we have built previously, we have always contended with graded slopes between houses or between yards.  The retaining wall is a nice feature.   I understand we will have some changes in the way we do the trusses (engineered steel spacers) and a different design for the trusses.   New features added in previous years include tapered round columns instead of rectangular posts for porches, Hardi-plank siding instead of vinyl, bigger floor plans, engineered trusses, engineered floor joists, Z flashing, and a number of neat improvements in design and detail to make the homes more distinct and attractive.

Stay Tuned.   Selected pictures for the first day to follow in the next post!  I have 92, but they take up more than 250MB and so you will need to be satisfied with a few reduced format samples.

Habitat House – Dinner on the Slab

Dinner on the Slab was just perfect.  Perfect weather, perfiect food, perfect slab – really best concrete work any of us had ever seen.  Almost polished looking.  Flat, square, and smooth.  Good freinds, homeowner, neighborhood kids, crew chief, site manager, Coalition members.  

Here are a few pictures. 

Dinner on the Slab

The Dinner Party with materials for the house stacked around.  Neighbor houses in various levels of completion.   Habitat for Humanity is building 50 homes in this neighborhood.  

 Homeowner Joi

Homeowner Joi   Just look at that smile!

Neighbor youngster

A picture no one could resist.   This youngster lives next door and we invited him and his two brothers to eat with us.  All he had to say was Mmmmmmm good!

Tonight we partied – fine wine, beer, great food, great people.  Tomorrow we build!  Tomorrow a new home for Joi will begin to take shape.